Black Speculative Fiction Flashback: Moses - The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman by Balogun Ojetade
“I’m gon’ drive the evil out and send it back to Hell, where it belong!” – Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman: Freedom fighter. Psychic. Soldier. Spy. Something…more. Much more. In “MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Book 1: Kings * Book 2: Judges)”, the author masterfully transports you to a world of wonder…of horror…of amazing inventions, captivating locales and extraordinary people. In this novel of dark fantasy (with a touch of Steampunk), Harriet Tubman must match wits and power with the sardonic John Wilkes Booth and a team of hunters with powers beyond this world in order to save herself, her teenaged nephew, Ben and a little girl in her care – Margaret. But is anyone who, or what, they seem?
I met Balogun Ojetade when on a search for someone with knowledge of African martial arts. As a martial artist myself, I was sure there were martials arts indigenous to the African continent and I wanted to incorporate them into my Sword and Soul stories. Little did I know that being a master of African Martial Arts was only the tip of the iceberg for Balogun. He's also a Yoruba priest, fight choreographer, screenplay writer and author. That first meeting between us established a friendship and creative collaboration that continues to this day.
Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman was the first Steamfunk novel. It was also the first book that I read in which a Black historical person was portrayed as a superhero. Balogun told me when we first met that Harriet Tubman was one of his heroes. He imagined her as superhuman, based on stories of her strength, her fighting skills and the fact that there were so many different descriptions of her physical appearance. When he finally finished the novel and shared it with me, I was excited. Anyone who has read Balogun's work knows to prepare for the unexpected, and Moses was no exception. Not only does he present Harriet Tubman in a unique light, he also included other historical figures in unexpected ways.
If you haven't dipped your toe into Steamfunk, Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman is a great place to start. It's a novel that reveals the possibilities of incorporating our history into fantastic fiction, and it's a pioneer of the genre that deserves a place on your bookshelf or space in your e-reader. It's available on Amazon.